I had to share that I just started reading this incredible book by Richard Louv titled "Last Child in the Woods - Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder". Louv's thoughts echo what I have been thinking and saying for years which is that kids today are slowly losing their connection with the "natural" world. Of course, Louv prose is MUCH more eloquent than I and his explanations and research on the presented subjects is excellent.
Here are a couple excerpts from the book:
P.30 - "We tell our kids that traditional forms of outdoor play are against the rules . . . Then we get on their backs when they sit in front of the TV and then we tell them to go outside and play. But where? How? Join another organized sport? Some kids don't want to be organized all of the time.
P. 24 - "Fishing and Hunting . . . are messy - to some morally messy - but removing all traces of that experience from childhood does neither the child nor nature any good."
p. 21 - "Few of us miss the brutal aspects of raising food. For most young people, however, memory supplies no experience for comparison. More young people may be vegetarians or consume food from health food stores, but fewer are likely to raise their own food - especially if that food is an animal.
p. 14 - "Parents, educators, other adults, institutions - the culture itself - may say one thing to children about nature's gifts, but so many of our actions and messages - especially the ones we cannot hear ourselves deliver - are different. And children hear very well."
For more information please see: http://richardlouv.com/